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What You Can Learn from Apple

Of all the breakout companies in the technology/innovation economy of the last 30 years, Apple stands alone and small business owners and non-profits can learn a great deal from Apple’s success story:

  • Don’t overlook small details. The iPad2 has been deemed less impressive than the awesome SmartCover designed for it.
  • Keep things simple. Apple’s most successful products (iPod, iPhone and the iPad) are all very minimal. Look around your workplace, at processes and products at what you can eliminate vs. add.
  • Develop a cult-like community. Apple’s customers don’t just feel like customers. They feel like they belong to something larger. Kiva is a great example of a non-profit whose international online community of contributers interact heavily in forums.
  • It isn’t necessary to play nice with everyone. iTunes doesn’t mesh with all other tech providers, Apple has refused Adobe Flash for iPads/iPhones. Apple is notorious for not creating partnerships with other companies (unlike Google). Or perhaps it is better to say they are incredibly picky in those partnerships-and that is the takeaway and part of what creates that insulated sense of community.
  • Design matters. Of course, we at Ratio7 believe that strongly, but the world of design is getting increasing notice and there is little doubt that Apple’s clean, distinctive product designs, and logo, have lead that wave of attention.

What’s Important to Ratio7

In speaking with a potential client about what she is looking for in a graphic design/web development firm, she said “it’s important to know what’s important to that firm, what they are doing and working on”. I thought this was a great idea for a post. Here are some thoughts on what makes Ratio7′s team tick and thrive:

First, and foremost, we are driven by our Christian values and beliefs. This is what fuels us to deliver our very best, in an ethical, honest fashion. This also motivates our commitment to giving back through the Ratio Foundation.

We love supporting companies who give back as well like this great organisation, and this one. And we LOVE, LOVE, LOVE being part of your success!

We know that creativity requires curiosity and learning and staying on top of technology trends. We read a lot, we interact with other designers and tech-y professionals, and we pay deep attention to our clients’ needs (including budget and timelines).

Flexibility is important to us, so we employ a broad variety of creatives, both on-staff and freelancers, so we can meet specific needs nimbly.

Of course, in addition to faith, humour, family, friendship and COFFEE are important to keeping us happy, alive and fueled! What’s important to YOU?

Mini-Sites: Big Tool, Small Site

Not every company or organisation needs a full-fledged, multi-page website with lots of features. There are times that a min-site will serve your purpose and Ratio7 has created many of these for clients. What we created for Somewhereto is a useful example of the powerful and streamlined approach that you might need versus a full website. In this case, Live Union wanted a unique site to promote a series of events they were producing for their client. Instead of a page in an existing site that might not get the notice they wanted, it made more sense to create a small, separate site to get the word out about the events.  Your company or charity might consider this for an annual event or fundraiser, linking the mini-site with separate URL to your main site.

Another common mini-site is a sales or landing page. Generally just one page that promotes a unique product or service, it links to your main site and has sales copy, product information and an order form, all with a unique URL that will drive additional search engine traffic.

Finally, it could just be that your business or organisation has no need for a multi-page, feature rich site. You might just want a simple, one page mini-site that presents a basic bio of your company and team and contact information.

While Ratio7 creates beautiful, deep, feature-laden sites routinely, we don’t want you to think we are a “one size fits all” creative team! Our designers work with you to determine YOUR needs and can create a site, big or small, that fits those needs, budget and timeline. So, before you dismiss the idea of a site as to expensive, talk to us. You might find a mini-site is all you need.

Repurposing Your Video

We do video. We do it great! And so, when you have a finished product from us promoting your event, your brand or telling the story of your company, we want you to maximize it. Video ranks higher in search engine marketing (notice how those YouTube videos are up near the top on Google?) and also can be more compelling, especially in mobile viewers like tablets and smartphones. What are some ways to repurpose your company’s or organisation’s video?

Definitely put it online. If you don’t have a YouTube account, open one and load your videos there. Vimeo is another popular site and both will help your search engine rankings.

Add it to your website and/or blog. A home page video greeting is a welcoming addition and adds a strong visual element for your visitors. It can be used to both inform and educate potential customers, volunteers or donors. Do make sure there is a stop/mute button on the video so viewers can turn off if it is inconvenient.

Put it in your press kit. A DVD copy of your video tells a story in a more compelling way than just adding text and graphic print pieces for journalists.

Use it in your marketing efforts. Take it to potential customers and donors and drop off (DVD reproduction is inexpensive) for them to view after you’ve made your in-person pitch.

Play it in your company or organisation’s office on a rotating loop so visitors can view while they wait. Consider having a variety of videos so it doesn’t get overly repetitive.

Ratio7 can create a compelling, entertaining video for your charity, business or event. We have expert videographers on staff who will help you tell a rich, engaging story about your organisation.